Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Condensed Milk in 'Beaker-Gate' Shocker (and another banana loaf recipe)

The other day I made Dan Lepard's ultra delicious Lemon Butter Cake, which requires 125g condensed milk.

It doesn't take a genius to work out that this left me with 272g condensed milk (give or take). By the way, why are the tins 397g? Does anyone know? Are they really 400g but state a weight which allows for the bits that you can never get out, even with your finger a spatula? Would it be too hard to make a tin that tiny bit bigger? Big enough to carry a full 400g? This is something I genuinely wonder about, so if anyone can enlighten me, please do.

But back to the matter in hand. What to do with 272g of condensed milk? I pondered the question idly on social media and received a number of suggestions, including drinking it in tea, making it into a sandwich and using it as a sex aid (this was the day of 'beaker-gate', after all). I had been contemplating nothing more complicated than a quiet corner and a teaspoon, but only in a half hearted sort of way: not only can I no longer drink 10 pints, dance till dawn, consume a doner kebab with extra hot chilli sauce and survive the next day; it seems that I can no longer face eating most of a tin of condensed milk. Age is a cruel mistress.

 So I did not consume the condensed milk. Oh no. I conscientiously decanted it into a mug (a mug, note, NOT a beaker...), popped some clingfilm on the top and consigned it to the fridge. Now in this house the Husband and I have one of those 'standing jokes that's not really a joke' which has developed over the course of our life together. I hate to throw food away, so anything that can't be frozen in a little convenient portion will find its way into the fridge, and I  genuinely, I mean, really GENUINELY, mean to use it again. But it doesn't always happen.

Sometimes I forget.

Sometimes it wasn't actually that nice in the first place.

Sometimes I just want to cook something else.

Sometimes, it disappears to the back of the fridge, only to re-appear weeks later with all sorts of interesting mould growing on it.

Sometimes, I really do use it.

When we're clearing up after a meal, the phrase you're most likely to hear him say is "Shall I throw this away now, or put it in the fridge and throw it away in a week's time" . You get the idea.

This particular 272g of condensed milk (give or take - I couldn't say for sure that a teaspoon's worth didn't somehow come my way) did get used. It ended up in another version of Banana Loaf. I wish I could settle down to having a 'go to' recipe for things like Banana Loaf, but it seems I can't help fiddling - probably because so much of my baking depends on what's knocking around in the kitchen. I can't even stop fiddling with the flapjacks I swore were the best I'd ever made. In case you're interested, it's worth swapping some of the oats for dessicated coconut...

Another Banana Loaf

100g chopped dried fruit - I used apricots and a mixture of currants, sultanas and mixed peel that was in a value bag of dried fruit I bought last Christmas for mincemeat/Christmas pudding purposes...
100ml black lapsang souchong tea (what I made at breakfast time - Earl Grey would be good too)
100g unsalted butter
272g condensed milk (give or take - obviously, a teaspoonful either way isn't going to make much difference, so go on, treat yourself...)
225g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarb
about 350g (peeled weight) mushy bananas
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs

Soak the dried fruit in the tea - probably an hour minimum, or longer - I started mine off at breakfast then baked the loaf at tea time.

Pre-heat the oven to 180 C and line a large loaf tin with greaseproof paper.

In a large pan, gently melt together the butter and condensed milk, stirring occasionally.  While this is going on, measure your flour, baking powder and bicarb and mix together. Mash up the banana with the vanilla extract, then beat in the eggs with a fork.

Beat the mashed banana & egg mixture into the melted butter and condensed milk, stir in the soaked fruit, then finally, stir in the flour about 1/3 at a time.

Scrape into the loaf tin and bake for about 45 minutes to an hour till a cake tester comes out pretty much clean. Keep an eye on it - if it looks like it might catch, cover lightly with some foil or something.

Leave to cool in the tin.

It will smell delicious - and (and now I really am getting old) it tastes delicious with a nice cup of tea...


  1. Nothing wrong with more banana bread!

  2. I get you on this. I hate to waste half a tin but it sounds like you came up with the perfect solution.

    1. I have to agree that it was the best solution. I would have only made myself sick had I eaten it all with a teaspoon...

  3. Mmm, this sounds nice! I shall try it. I ended up with half a tin of condensed milk today, because I made a moist flapjack recipe that used up the other half...

    1. oh yum - I've started using tinned caramel to make flapjack, but I feel I'm going to have to try it with condensed milk...

  4. 397g is the same as 14oz - the traditional weight for condensed milk tins. Now, as for why THAT should be so is a whole nother story. The cake sounds delicious though, and I hate bananas! :-)

    1. Ah! Al becomes clear - sort of. Much happoer knowing that it's actally 14oz. I shall revert to imperial. The cake is good. The kids have remarked on it as being particularly so.

  5. Ha Beakergate was a good day. So much laughter I cried.

    Mmm though at banana cake, love it!

  6. Ahhh, I always wondered that weight too! Love your fridge confessions, I am exactly the same. Sometimes I use it up too but mostly I have to don the marigolds and extract it.. Beaker gate made me literally LOL worryingly though Sally, the beaker you have chosen to visualise this whole sorry scenario is exactly the same as the ones I have at home. They are used for drinking and storing unused various items of food, def not dunking..


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